Spanish-American Vet's Body Moved to Sweet Cemetery

George Hall headstone

Emmett Index, November 16, 1930

Body of George Hall had Lain Neglected in Pasture for Thirty Years

An unusual ceremony took place Sunday near Sweet, when the body of George W. Hall, the first Idaho soldier killed in the Spanish-American war, was removed from a nearly forgotten grave in a pasture and re-interred in the Sweet cemetery.

Hall's body was brought back from the Philippines and buried on the site of the old home near Sweet. In the 30 years that have elapsed, the homestead has changed ownership and has become a cow pasture. Not even a marker remained to denote its location.

Twelve veterans of the First Idaho Infantry, of which Hall's Co. B was a part - members of General McConville camp, U.S. Spanish War Veterans of Boise - officiated at the impressive removal ceremonies in the presence of 250 spectators. J. F. Moreland, department commander, read the ritualistic burial service as the body was lowered into its final resting place, and Silas P. Hagler, department chaplain, and a resident of that section for many years, read the religious sercies and spoke feelingly of the patriotism and courage of the dead soldier. A firing squad of eight gave salute at the ceremony and an American Legion bugler blew taps over the new grave.

A history of the regiment's service in the Philippines, compiled by a Boise member, gives the following account of Hall's death, according to the Statesman:
"On the evening of February 4, companies F, D, B, and C received orders to be ready to march at a moments notice. We went to bed with our clothes on and had just begun to forget our troubles in sleep, when scattered shots were heard. In a few moments these were followed by volleys from the same direction. At once we were awakened and ordered to 'fall in'. About midnight the firing slackened and we were marched back to quarters to get our blankets, then returned to the churchyard, soon after the firing commenced again and about 2 a.m., February 5, it became quite heavy.
"We marched out into the street in good spirits, thinking we were surely going to get in some fighting this time, but General King halted us a short distance from the church and lined us up near the curbstone on the right side of the road. The firing increased in front, but we didn't realize our danger until Quartermaster-Sergeant Scott and Private Hall of Company B were hit. Then the command was moved into cross streets for protection. Scott was shot through the arm and two months later was ready for duty. Hall was hit by the same bullet. It went throught his body near his hips and he died."

Several times in recent years it has been suggested by the Spanish-American war veterans that the body of this first Idaho soldier to be killed should receive a fitting burial and be removed from its original site, but until the Sweet Grange offered to co-operate with the veterans no definite move was made.

(Photograph by Sharon McConnel)

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